|Sir.||The Hague 28. April. 1796.|
I have the honor to enclose you a packet, which came to hand yesterday under cover of a packet of newspapers from the State Department addressed to my Brother. Not adverting to the address of the enclosed packet, which was single among the Newspapers, & concluding of course that it was intended for my Brother, I cut the cover in the manner it appears, and in attempting to take out the enclosures I discovered the external address. In apologizing for this act of carelessness on my part, I am persuaded that nothing more will be required to obtain your forgiveness than an assurance, that the contents of the packet are unknown to me. I have taken the liberty to seal a scrip of paper across the place cut, with two impressions of my Cypher, and hope these precautions may ensure the packet against a fresh violation, in its passage by the post for Paris.
Should it be seasonably received, it will afford me much satisfaction to be informed of it. I shall as a further security, acquaint you by next post, that such a packet has been forwarded.
With a renewal of my apologies for this accident, I have the honor to be / with great respect, Sir. / Your very humble & obedt: servt:
Thomas B. Adams.
RC(DLC: Monroe Papers); internal address “James Monroe Esqr.”; endorsed: “Thomas B Adams / Hague 20 July 1796 / see the letter / T R.”